Consider exploring some new outdoor possibilities

Column by Ron Hellbusch
Posted 2/17/21

We are in that slow time of year for outdoorsmen. Yet it is a good time to check outdoor interest calendars for events, due dates and catch up on areas of interests we do not take time to study …

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Consider exploring some new outdoor possibilities

Posted

We are in that slow time of year for outdoorsmen. Yet it is a good time to check outdoor interest calendars for events, due dates and catch up on areas of interests we do not take time to study during the midst of prime fishing and hunting seasons. If you have a passion for the outdoors this is the season, this is the “opportunity” time of year to explore.

Most hunting seasons are over and fishing time is limited. Consider exploring new outdoors activities you have wanted to pursue but just never set aside time to enjoy.

One of the first tasks high on your outdoors “to do” list is checking current due dates on submission of big and small game hunting 2021 license applications. Typically, April is the key date, but that can vary for both resident and especially non-resident hunting party members. If you are a Colorado hunter looking out of state, it is equally important to get updated early application due dates in neighboring states.

Let us look at some new possibilities.

One of the expanding small game populations in Colorado is the turkey. Applications are due in February in Colorado and most surrounding states, with hunting seasons opening mid-April. With healthy populations and opportunities to harvest two birds in some states as Nebraska and Kansas, turkey hunting can be an exciting new outdoors adventure.

Focusing on our youth in Colorado is a high priority of our own Parks and Wildlife Division (CP&W) and staff. The agency’s guide “Learn in Colorado’s Outdoor Playground” describes numerous programs for both youth and adults interested in sharpening their skills. Educational programs include “Protecting the Hunting Heritage”: Enjoying nature at State’s 42 parks,” “Living with Wildlife,” “Working Together as volunteers (at variety of state facilities),” “Archery and Shooting Sports Classes,” “Protection Waterways (water quality) and Boat Safety,” “Learning to Fish and Schools (public and private) in the Outdoors.” Each is guided by professional CP&W staff and many times by experts from other outdoors organizations.

The lull in the early year is also an opportunity to look at participating in some of the strong, supporting outdoors and wildlife organizations. There is a greater common good when state public outdoors agencies and private support work together on common and critical issues. Such organizations as Ducks unlimited, Trout Unlimited, Colorado Wildlife Federation, Elk Foundation offer opportunities to take an active and supportive role as chapter members of committees and task force to work on behalf of Colorado’s wildlife, bird and natural resources conservation.

The highly active development of our state lands and change in our landscape is putting significant pressure on our wildlife and the habitat they need to survive and populate. Too often there is not a “voice” representing wildlife in the development groups impacting wildlife resource needs and decisions.

Public and private entities mentioned above, can be reached through Google. Let us do some exploring and find our opportunity and interest.

Ron Hellbusch can be reached at Ron-Hellbusch@comcast.net

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